Report: South Korea Could Ease Its ICO Ban

March 13, 2018

South Korea’s ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) could be eased in the coming months, according to a new report.

CoinDesk reported in September that the country’s Financial Services Commission had moved to prohibit the blockchain funding model. Yet a new report from the Korea Times suggests that the ban may be lifted in part, specifically for token sales that meet as-yet-to-be specified conditions.

An anonymous source told the newspaper:

“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry, and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met.”

Despite the local ban, many Korean cryptocurrency users are still participating in international ICOs. Kang Young-soo, the regulator that oversees cryptocurrency trading policies at the Financial Service Commission (FSC), declined to comment on ICOs other than to say the FSC is considering a “third party view.”

Additionally, Young-soo affirmed that the government wants to advance blockchain technologies and create a better infrastructure for regulating cryptocurrency trades.

However, international cryptocurrency market presents new challenges for lawmakers.

As it stands, overseas residents are currently banned from trading cryptocurrency in South Korea. This restriction is aimed at curbing money laundering and other possible cross-border crimes. Meanwhile, South Korean officials are reportedly talking with counterparts in Japan and China to explore regulatory cooperation, which means that any final rules could be developed in tandem with those countries.

For its part, China has shown no sign of willingness to relax its own ban on initial coin offerings, which it unveiled in early September prior to South Korea’s announcement.

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